Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa claimed his team must play better despite opening their FIFA World Cup™ campaign in impressive fashion today. Jean Beausejour handed the South Americans a 1-0 win over Honduras in their Group H meeting in Nelspruit but Bielsa's attack-minded side could have scored more.
Chile squandered a number of chances, particularly in the second half, and Bielsa did not want to celebrate the country's first win in a FIFA World Cup tournament for 42 years for long. The former Argentina coach said: "I think we won deservedly. We could have scored more goals and we controlled the match very well.
"In defence we did not have to undergo too many stressful situations and we attacked constantly. But we have to go on in the competition otherwise it will not be remembered as an achievement. You cannot foresee it, but if the number of goals becomes important in this group, we may rue that we did not score all the goals we should have."
We may rue that we did not score all the goals we should have.
Nevertheless, Bielsa accepted the joy victory was likely to bring to Chile after such a long wait for international success. The tournament in South Africa is Chile's first FIFA World Cup for 12 years and they had not won a game at one since reaching the semi-finals in 1962. Bielsa said: "We do enjoy the affection of the people and we try to pay them back by playing at our best level."
Honduras assistant coach Alexis Mendoza accepted the better team had won. The central American side had hopes of causing an upset but -- missing key striker David Suazo and playmaker Julio Cesar de Leon, the latter withdrawn from the tournament -- they failed to make an impact.
Mendoza, in charge while Reinaldo Rueda served a touchline ban, said: "The goal against us could have been avoided and we did have chances to score. We did get the ball into their half but unfortunately we could not create a situation that would lead to a goal. "We did a good job in the second half but technical merit does not count -- goals count and Chile got a goal. They overcame us and I think they won quite justifiably. It was difficult for us to keep possession."